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The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic took the entire nation by surprise. Just when things seemed to turn normal, the cases of COVID-19 splurged across the country. Amid the panic and lockdown like situation, ICAI on 26th May 2021 announced that the CA Exams will commence from 5th July 2021 onwards.

STANCE OF THE INSTITUTE

Students across the country raised their concerns and demanded for either postponement of exams or the facility of an opt-out option. On the other hand, CA Nihar Jambusaria on 5th June 2021 assured that that going ahead with the CA Exams, that are scheduled to begin from 5th July 2021 is in the larger interest of the students since the number of students that are appearing for the exams is very high and merging it with the November 2021 exams will do more harm than good.

ICAI President Jambusaria also assured that the number of cases are declining with each passing day and with the ongoing vaccination drives, the institute should be seeing a conducive atmosphere for holding the exams like they saw in November last year.

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, the institute also released Guidelines for Examination Centres, Examination functionaries and Candidates for July 2021 CA Examinations. These guidelines are similar to the ones issued for the November 2020 and January 2021 exams.

CA Exams 2021 - Unreasonable Demands by the Students or A Blind Eye by the Institute

HOWEVER, IS THAT ENOUGH?

On 9th June 2021, A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court by Adv. Anubha Shrivastava Sahai - President India Wide Parents Association Lawyer and Child Rights Activist against the July 2021 CA Exams that are scheduled to commence from 5th July 2021. 

PIL filed in SC

This PIL was filed on behalf of 987 students across 20 states and 3 UTs who seeked several relief measures for students of the CA course, including the request for an Opt-Out facility that was also given during the CA Exams 2020. Click here to read other relief measures requested by the students.

The Institute has yet not given any response to this PIL and looks like they aren't going to.

WHAT IS THE CURRENT SCENARIO?

On 21st June 2021, the Institute released Admit Cards for the exams scheduled to begin in less than 15 days, making a strong point that there are zero chances of postponement of the same. However, they also gave the students the Opt Out Facility that is constantly being demanded by them.

Is the Opt Out Facility a good decision? Yes!

Are the conditions for availing the Opt Out Facility justified? We're not quite sure about that!

Opt Out Facility

CHECKLIST FOR AVAILING THE OPT OUT FACILITY

The Opt Out Facility given by the institute is not absolute in nature and just like Mutual Funds, one must read the terms and conditions very carefully.

 

In brief, one must fulfil the following 3 criteria to avail the Opt Out Facility

  • Examinee or their grandparents, parents, spouse, children or siblings should be COVID positive.
  • RTPCR Report along with Aadhaar Card and Self Declaration Form to be submitted.
  • RTPCR Report to be of a date between 21st June 2021 and Conclusion of Exams.

Click here to read the conditions for Opt Out in detail.

WILL THE STUDENTS BE AVAILING THE OPT OUT FACILITY? WHAT ARE THEIR REASONS OF DOING OR NOT DOING SO?

Right after the Opt Out announcement made by the ICAI, CAclubindia did a poll on their Instagram handle asking students whether they will be availing the Opt Out or not. From 5418 students who participated in the poll, 74% will not be availing the opt out facility!

Poll

 

BUT WHY WON'T STUDENTS AVAIL THE FACILITY THEY DEMANDED SINCE THE BEGINNING? LET US UNDERSTAND THEIR REASONS!

To summarize, the main reason due to which students, who are willing to avail the Opt Out cannot do so is because they don't fulfil the first criteria that is listed by ICAI i.e., Examinee or their grandparents, parents, spouse, children or siblings should be COVID positive.

Comments

What the institute hasn't taken into account is the following:

  • Students who have suffered from COVID-19 and have although tested negative, haven't fully recovered from the aftermaths and weakness of the same.
  • Students who haven't prepared for the exams due to the mental pressure that has come with this pandemic.
  • Students who are in the middle of a different medical emergency with regard to themselves or their family members - This reason has often been neglected however, we have to take into account the fact that various other medical emergencies have been put secondary and COVID infected patients have been given the first hand due to limited resources.

Considering we are in the middle of a pandemic, there can be a hundred other reasons due to which students want to avail the Opt Out and in my personal opinion, they should be given a free hand to do so.

6000 CA STUDENTS WRITE TO HON'BLE JUSTICE NUTHALAPATI VENKATA RAMANA - CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA, TO HEAR THEIR PLEA OUT REGARDING THE JULY 2021 CA EXAMS

On 21st June 2021, 6000 students, on being disheartened by the response of the institute wrote to the Chief Justice of India - Hon'ble Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana and pled the following:

  • To take suo-moto cognizance of their application along with the PIL that was filed earlier seeking several relief measures for students of the CA course.
  • To direct ICAI to provide an Opt-Out option to the students who are unable to appear for the exams due to COVID-19 or any other medical emergency in the family.
  • To direct ICAI to increase the number of attempts for Old Course Students.
  • To direct ICAI to conduct an additional examination attempt for students who cannot appear for the upcoming exams due to COVID-19.

6000 CA STUDENTS WRITE TO CJI

Click here to read the official representation letter written to the CJI.

CONCLUSION

The COVID-19 pandemic wasn't expected, planned or taken into account by anyone. Apart from those directly affected by the virus, one can't deny the mental and financial effects of the virus. Moreover, a pandemic affects each person, caste, class and gender differently. What may be an opportunity to study better for one, be a reason for no studies at all for another. Thus, it is only fair for us to be a little more empathetic towards each other and respect the fact that we are in the middle of a (hopefully) once in a lifetime pandemic.

Although, it may not be good for the long run to postpone and merge the exams with the November 2021 cycle, the least ICAI can do in the present scenario is make the Opt Out Facility available to anyone who wants to avail it and further take into consideration an additional cycle for those who have availed the Opt Out, just like an additional exam cycle in January 2021 was conducted.

What do you think of the CA Exams 2021? A series of unreasonable demands by the students or a blind eye by the institute? Surely not the former!

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

TRENDING NEWS REGARDING THE JULY 2021 CA EXAMS

S.No.

Title

Link

1

6000 CA Students write to the CJI to hear their plea out regarding July 2021 CA Exams

Click Here

2

Admit Cards released for July 2021 CA Foundation, Inter, and Final Exams

Click Here

3

ICAI gives conditional Opt Out Option for July 2021 CA Exams

Click Here

4

ICAI to not transfer CA Students to an examination centre in a particular zone of the city opted by them

Click Here

5

PIL filed in the Supreme Court against CA Exams in July

Click Here

6

Expecting conducive atmosphere around July 5 for holding exams, says ICAI President

Click Here

7

Revised Schedule of May 21 CA Inter and CA Final Exams

Click Here

8

Revised Schedule of June/July 21 CA Foundation Exams

Click Here

9

Guidelines for Examination Centres, Examination functionaries and Candidates for July 2021 CA Examinations

Click Here


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Category Students, Other Articles by - Aishna Kukreja 



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